Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Reality bites

Aim for quality not medals, says Sea Games chef-de-mission

CONFIDENT: Naim says the cycling team can do better than two gold medals

PETALING JAYA: There should not be a fixation over the number of gold medals the national contingent is expected to win at the upcoming Sea Games in Indonesia.

Chef-de-mission Datuk Naim Mohammad said the Games should be an avenue for the athletes to prove their worth and beat their personal records instead.

"The target of 60 gold medals is based on the recommendations by the respective sports associations. It is not my personal target," said Naim.

"It is not impossible but I believe the team managers of the respective sports should know better.
"When I look at the recommendations, some sports have underrated their capabilities while some sports seem to be overly ambitious."

Naim singled out cycling as being overly cautious with their projection of only two gold medals.
"I'm in cycling (as the Malaysian National Cycling Federation deputy president) and I know our cycling team can do better than two gold medals. But there are some sports who believe they can clinch six gold medals when four would be a more realistic projection," said Naim, not wanting to mention the sports that are being bullish of their projection.

The national football team will face an uphill battle defending their title as they have been drawn in the "group of death" together with host Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and Cambodia.

Meanwhile, Naim added the organisers have agreed to listen to his plea of allowing the national athletes and team officials to stay together at the Games Village.

Initially, the organisers had planned to house athletes at the Games Village while the officials will stay in hotels.
"We go as a team and it is only right for all of us to stay at the same place together. It will be easier for the officials to manage and interact with the athletes and vice versa," added Naim.

A total of 43 sports offering 542 events will be held during the Games scheduled from Nov 11-22 in Jakarta and Palembang.

Malaysia managed an overall haul of 68 gold medals at the 2007 Korat Sea Games and 40 gold medals at the following edition in Laos.


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